The hike to Wet Beaver Creek via Bell Trail is one of the best hikes in or near Sedona. Not only that, if you take my advice, it honestly becomes my favorite hike in Sedona. 90% of visitors who hike to The Crack don’t know there is some incredible beauty and springs the entire way leading up to it.
Bell Trail is hardly a great hike when compared to most of Sedona. It is exposed in the sun the entire way and there really isn’t a ton of great view points or picturesque moments until you get to the Crack. It is a great trail run or even mountain bike the first 2.5 miles until you have to park the bike for the last mile.
However, 7 miles of walking on that path would rank outside the top 50 hikes in Sedona if it wasn’t for the payoff at the end. With that said, it jumps to arguably one of the best hikes if you know the secret! What is the best hike in Sedona? What is the secret as to why the hike to Wet Beaver Creek is arguably the best hike in Sedona? The answer… go off road!
Less than half a mile into the hike there is a turnoff where you can go up the hill to the Bell Trail overflow parking. At that point is the best place to turn down the hill and go to the creek. From there you can walk along, in, around and up the creek all the way to the crack, or even pop out up to the trail whenever it starts to get a little tough.
If you are able bodied enough, it is the BEST adventure to cross the creek multiple times and explore. You can actually do it the whole way without really getting wet. It is a little rough here and there but most of it is a path. You won’t be sure which way to go sometimes and that just adds to the fun.
Keep your eyes open as you may also not know there are a ton of crayfish under the rocks. In fact if you want to add to your adventure you can actually get a crayfish license and go fishing! These are the exact same as crawfish and can be cooked just like most shellfish and go great in pasta, rice, gravy and other southern dishes!
Hike Wet Beaver Creek To The Crack via Bell Trail
7 Miles. 3-5 hours. Out & Back
The hike itself is a tough boring so I really suggest you go down to the creek and do a little or all of the hike along/in/crossing the creek. It honestly turns into the best adventure day!
You start from Bell Trail in either the main lot or the large overflow parking lot. From there you will be walking on a pretty standard flat path for most of the 3.5 miles each way. However, as mentioned you should spice things up and walk down to the creek for some adventure.
At the fork from the main trail parking and the overflow parking you can walk down any path to the creek and that is where the fun starts. about 75% of it has a true path to kind of follow and the rest is just your own adventure and fun!
You will cross the water many times, see mini falls, little pools of water, crayfish and surely come across people hanging out at many of the little secret oasis and pools along the way.
On the hike be sure to stay on the path of Bell Trail as there are forks in the road that will take you elsewhere along the road. It isn’t too hard and there is plenty of signage.
After 3.5 miles on the path you will hit The Crack and surely it will have a ton of people around hanging out. Try to go on weekdays to avoid any crazy crowds. I also suggest walking past it and exploring beyond The Crack on boths sides for some more incredivle beauty.
- Dog Friendly (On a leash). Although plenty of people have their dogs off a leash in the secret swimming hole areas along the way to the hike.
- Amazing water hole with multiple cliff jumping levels at the end.
- Perfect creek on the way with water oasis and swimming holes to stop at during the hike.
- Great distance to get some exercise and some sun.
- Pretty flat throughout, long but not too tough.
- Lots of parking and overflow parking.
- The hike itself is a little meh for 3.5 miles each way, so definitely go down to the creek and adventure up that way.
- It can be a little crowded and often younger people will be playing music with a small touch of a party atmosphere… doesn’t happen often and isn’t anything crazy but just something to be aware of.
- Not much shade at all the entire hike so bring sunscreen and a hat. Get a dip in the creek on the way to cool off.
- Follow the directions to stay on Bell Trail as there are forks in the road to other trails.
- Go off the trail to the creek at the beginning and throughout to dip in some pretty little water holes along the way.
- Hike the entire way via the creek. It is challenging so don’t do if you have any physical limitations.
- Can make this an entire day trip with a picnic, hammocks, music and lounging at the swimming hole.
- Bring some beer/wine for swimming hole (no glass) but pack out what you pack in.
- Weekdays are a lot quieter if you want it less busy.
- Look for crayfish under the rocks in the water. They are an invasive species so you can even fish them to cook for dinner! You do need a fishing permit though.
Hey I’m Fraser. My site is dedicated to the 22nd century person with a lust for travel and adventure, need for time efficient recipe ideas as well as anyone in need of self-help or a pick-me up! Thanks for visiting Inspire Travel Eat!